This photo was taken yesterday..... when your pinky MCP and your index finger MCP are at war for space on your hand, has the sh*t officially hit the fan? It's a good thing I was not on schedule to work yesterday because I woke up with my face nearly unrecognizable; the bones in my nose had swelled so badly it literally hurt to breathe.

Since I'm trying to take it a little easy for a day or two, I was thinking about adding some more travel tips to this blog but typing is kind of not a plan today either. Spoke with my doctor yesterday about options to help deal with this flare and we have a couple of ideas in case things don't settle down soon, but for now I am just using my best tools of rest, anti-inflammation diet and no further drops/changes in the steroid dose until my body adjusts.

This will get better....


Patience, Prednisone, and Pompadours

It's been another week now and I have been able to decrease my dosage of the prednisone twice, down 50% from a month ago. My appetite has returned to somewhat normal - I no longer have the intense desire to eat four bags of caramel corn in a row, opting for smaller, healthier meals throughout the day, however the scale still hasn't budged from last week's numbers. In fact, the number waxes and wanes up and down the same four pounds no matter what I eat/don't eat or with whatever exercise I add to my routine. Four pounds doesn't seem like it should be much to complain about but when I'm working this hard for pretty much NO results, it is frustrating. Combine that with the fact that this weight sits directly in my midsection and makes it hard to breathe, move and even dress the way I normally do, it remains for me a matter of some concern.

I know that this will all work itself out over time so I'm not especially worried that the scale seems to be intent on TRYING to make me have a bad day; with monsoon season here and humidity during the day over 70% (usually 26%) I do have more important things to concern myself with than the high (1)80's registering on my bathroom scale. I really do believe that by following the "rules" of what's best as far as eating at least 80/20 anti-inflammation foods, getting proper rest (proper for me, that is), and adding gentle exercise, I will feel better and eventually my weight will stabilize and return to where I'd prefer it to be.

To that end, I rode my new bike to the farmer's market on Saturday - lest you think this was a huge feat on my part, I live about a quarter mile from the market. There is a bit of incline on the way home, so for me, just not falling off on the way home was first hurdle, the second was learning how to use my gears so I could pedal up the inclines. Riding instead of walking helped me stay off my still-tender ankle and I felt pretty good about this latest "baby-step"on wheels.

With exercise tended to, diet is the next concern. Working the evening shift means I am not home for supper and as every procrastinator knows, this probably means eating Pringles at least once in the past week for dinner. Over the weekend I did some meal planning to make sure chips are not on the menu again anytime soon. I came up with a lime and cilantro rice that I'm pretty sure rivals that of my favorite rice at Chipotle -

In a rice cooker (or on the stove if you happen to prefer) - add

2 cups long grain white or brown rice, rinsed well
zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
1/2 t salt
2 t olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 whole clove
and use chicken broth instead of water in proportions to rice and method you are using.

Cook as per instructions on the bag. When cooking is complete, stir once and allow to stand for 20-30 minutes with the cooker open to allow steam to escape. Chop and add fresh cilantro to each serving to heighten that flavor.

To take this dish to work, I made a "rice bowl" in tupperware; rice on the bottom, then layer lowfat black "refried" beans (just mashed with a little garlic, salt, chicken broth), a little queso fresco, a single serve packet of guacamole, some chopped onions, and more fresh cilantro.

I mentioned proper rest as well; I am rediscovering the power of a good nap. Every day before work, I shut things down midday around 1pm and lay down for an hour. I have been able to sleep about 40 minutes of this time and I feel much better when I wake up and hit the ground running. Getting home around 10pm, I tend to go to bed around 12-1am and average around 7hrs sleep. The insomnia has lifted for the moment - I guess being uber-busy has side benefits!

So, in the meanwhile, still having wardrobe issues; down to one last pair of jeans that still have room, and rotating my other limited pieces carefully for work. I'm finding that the accessories really do matter in creating different looks with the same base pieces. Just like with my hair, these day, the bigger, the better as far as necklaces, bracelets and belts! With my hair, I am getting pretty good at creating the pompadour hairstyle which despite getting totally rained on yesterday evening at work, still looked pretty good considering the frizz factor. Hard to get that look to photograph well since from certain angles in pictures it just looks like I'm trying to channel Buckwheat's ghost.